Act like Muhammad Ali, Obisia tells Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder
• ‘A good boxer should be able to fight anywhere’
Former Nigeria boxing chief coach, Obisia Nwankpa has challenged Nigerian-born British world heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua and his American counterpart, Deontay Wilder to ‘stop talking’ and act like the legendary Mohammed Ali, who traveled around the world fighting his opponents in his days.
After cruising past Joseph Parker to win his fourth world title, only the World Boxing Council (WBC) strap is still out of the all-conquering Anthony Joshua’s reach. And if he is to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 2000, Joshua has to beat American Deontay Wilder to unify the heavyweight boxing division (WBC belt).
There are media reports suggesting that Wilder wants the heavyweight unification showdown to take place in his native America, but Joshua wants it to hold in Great Britain.
Obisia Nwankpa, who ruled the light welterweight category in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, winning the African Boxing Union title, Commonwealth lightweight title, and was a challenger for World Boxing Council (WBC) light welterweight title against Saoul Mamby, told The Guardian yesterday that both Joshua and Wilder should behave like true heavyweight champions.
“As a heavyweight boxer, you should be able to fight anywhere in the world,” Obisia said. “They should stop talking and learn to follow the footsteps of late Muhammad Ali, who traveled around the world to fight his opponents. Alternatively, the managers of the two boxers should agree for the heavyweight unification showdown to hold on a neutral venue. They should go to Johannesburg in South Africa or Dubai in the United Arabs Emirates,” Obisia stated.
On Anthony Joshua’s victory over Parker at the 78,000 capacity Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Obisia said: “I know that Joshua has all it takes to beat anybody in that part of the world. The only people I fear are the Americans because they have shown over the years that they are the lords of boxing. But Joshua might just re-write history by the way he is going. Joshua is in control of the money, and he can pay the best manager at the moment. That is not to say that Deontay Wilder will be a push over. The world will surely witness the best of boxing if this fight eventually holds,” Obisia stated.